Will you eat yam for lunch?
I looked at my phone and smiled.
Yes please, I replied.
K. Just let me know when you head home so I’ll put it on the fire.
I just have this meeting with Royal and I’ll be heading home.
I scrolled through my last dialled numbers, touched the phone screen and waited for the call to connect.
‘Hello,’ the voice on the other end of the line said.
‘How far? I’m at Maryland now, where are you?’ I asked.
‘I’m in the GRA, shey we should meet up there?’
‘Cool. Where there?’
‘Let’s meet at Spurs. You know Spurs right?’
I thought about that for a second. ‘On Isaac John, abi?’
‘Yes, Isaac John. Just opposite The Place.’
‘Okay, I’ll see you there.’ I said then hung up. I watched the speedometer needle climb from 30km/hr through 40, 50 and come to rest on 60km/hr before I eased off the accelerator, P-Square’s ‘MMS’ playing in the car.
I arrived at Spurs, parked and called again.
‘How far, where are you?’ I asked.
‘I’m just driving into Spurs.’ I looked up to see a red Range Rover sport drive through the gates, the driver drove one-handed – the other hand was held to the side of the driver’s face.
The car parked behind me, the driver side door open and the driver alighted.
I sat in my car a moment longer, watching slim high-heeled legs swing out and touch the concrete. She smoothed down her gown which stopped just above her knees. Her signature cornrow braids fell to her shoulders and the ends bobbed about when she moved her head.
I was out of my car and walking towards her when she slammed her car door.
‘Hey you,’ she beamed.
‘How’ve you been?’ The hug was a little over long, but she didn’t seem to mind.
We walked into the restaurant, took a table by the window and she told me what it was she wanted me to do for her: a friend of hers wanted to open a bank account and she hoped I would be happy to sign a referral for him.
Then we ordered lunch.
By the time we were done with lunch, lunch we couldn’t finish, I felt like a stuffed bird.
On my way home. I messaged the girlfriend.
Okay bae. See you soon.
I hope you haven’t boiled the yam. I had lunch with Royal.
I saw the message go from D to R and still had to wait fifteen minutes before I got a reply.
I did, but it’s okay.
I knew it wasn’t okay, but there was nothing for it but to go home and face whatever awaited me.
This happened yesterday afternoon. This morning I woke up and reflexively reached for my phone where I left it beside my pillow to check the time. My searching hand met with cool sheet. I opened my eyes to see my girlfriend sitting by my head. She was dressed for work, my phone in her hand.
Something cold clutched hold of my stomach, inside, and squeezed. My senses came instantly awake, but I lay there trying not to give anything away.
‘Hey,’ I whispered in a pretend sleep-filled voice. ‘What time is it?’
‘5:02.’ She answered.
‘Set for work?’
‘Yes, but just waiting till it’s quarter past, then I’ll head out.’
‘Okay,’ I said even though what I really wanted was my phone back. ‘Let me know when you’re heading out.’ I closed my eyes, but the wheels in my brain were working overtime.
‘What has she seen? What is she even doing with my phone? Should I ask her? Or wait for her to ask me? Did I delete my chats from last night? I think I did. Wait, maybe I didn’t. See why I prefer older generation BlackBerrys? Close chat and the chat disappears. This dirty BlackBerry10 will just continue the chat. Wait, what has she seen?’
She left for work a few minutes later. I went out to move my car so she could drive out.
Drive safe… I messaged her about thirty minutes later to test the waters.
Bobo I am not stupid. Came her reply.
Mehn, things escalated pretty quickly from there on. Before 7 o’ clock I was single. Again.
My name is Bobo Nkiti, and I am back on the shelf.
Well Hello there!
Allow me to introduce to you the newest member to the SIG team, Bobo Nkiti (yayyy!!!)
Back on the Shelf (BOTS) is Bobo Nkiti’s account of being single in Lagos, which will be exclusive to the SIG blog. His posts will be up every Wednesday so make sure to check the blog for gist and a lot more, also feel free to follow him on twitter @_BoboNkiti
So please show Bobo Nkiti some love by leaving a comment below.